Belgian Waffles (Gaufres de Liege)
Some notes about these waffles.
- They are nothing like the "Belgian Waffles" you find on the menu at IHOP or Denny's. The closest waffle to this type is the Gaufre de Bruxelles. Gaufres de Liege are heavier, flakier, and sweeter, more like a pastry. This is a dessert. - The actual recipe for the waffles found on the streets of Belgium is a mystery. The internet has lots of recipes that come close though and this is one of them. - I'd say these waffles turned out to be 80% close to what I've had in Belgium. - I am not responsible for any heart attacks that may occur after consumption of these waffles. - The types of sugar used in the recipe, vanilla sugar and pearl sugar are VERY hard to find in the U.S. so we have to compromise. For the vanilla sugar, you can use vanilla extract, and for the pearl sugar, you can use sugar cubes as I describe below. Pearl sugar is awesome because it gives the waffles their signature crunch. It's the same consistency that the top of a creme brulee has after it's been blowtorched. Cripsy, sugary goodness. -Use a mixer for mixing everything if you can. If you don't have one, expect to get a good workout from this recipe.
Yield 20-25 Waffles
- 2.25 lbs. cake or all purpose flour
- 13 ounces warm milk
- 2.5 ounces fresh yeast or 1.25oz of dry yeast
- 3 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 lb. melted butter
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 lb. regular sugar
- 1 lb. pearl sugar (1 lb. sugar cubes can be substituted)
You also want a waffle iron that has good deep grooves. The one I have is a piece of shit but it gets the job done.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Next, warm up the milk and combine it with the fresh yeast and vanilla extract. Make a little well in the flour, crack the eggs into it, and then add the milk mixture.
Mix this all up very well and you'll end up with a sticky ball of mess that looks like the following picture.
Let it sit 30 minutes to let the yeast rise.
In the meantime we're going to make some ghetto pearl sugar. If you have real pearl sugar, skip this step. Take your sugar cubes, and using a mallet, hammer, or whatever, break them up into smaller pieces, but not too small. This is what mine looked like.
Next, melt your butter over the stove.
It's probably been 30 minutes, so now comes the hard part if you don't have a mixer. Slowly mix the melted butter into the dough. I had to do this by hand and it went very slow but with perseverence I got it to mix into an even stickier ball of mess. Once the butter is mixed in well, add the regular sugar and the pearl sugar/mashed sugar cubes. Mix it in well and it should look like this.
Let this sit another 15 minutes to finish rising a bit.
While it's sitting, heat up your waffle iron. Once hot, scoop about a 2 heaping tablespoon size blob of the dough onto the waffle iron. Mine can do 2 at once. It should take about 3 minutes to cook the waffles. Then just repeat until all the dough is used. Note that the pearl sugar is going to make the waffles a bit sticky. You may want to place them on parchment paper to cool.
As you can see below, my waffle iron sucks and doesn't heat evenly so I had to flip them around halfway through. With a nice waffle iron, this would be a lot easier and less messy.
A popular way to serve them. I swear there's a waffle under there! Powdered sugar also goes well with them.